Untitled Header Image
 

FAQs



Q:

How much is it to join?  What if I join in the middle of the school year?

A:

Membership into ECIHEN is $18.50 per family each school year (July 1 - June 30th).

We pay the website for each family that is added to our website. In addition, each PayPal transaction costs our group.(For example, for each $5.00 transaction ECIHEN pays PayPal $0.45.) The remainder covers meeting supplies and beginning and end-of-year parties for members.

Because those fees remain constant no matter when you join the group, we are unable to prorate our membership dues.

 

Q:

What forms of payment do you accept?

A:

All fees must be paid through PayPal. There are no refunds.

Q:

How many families are in the group?

A:

ECIHEN has about 70 families from all over east central Illinois. Although, we cover a large area you will find that you can still be closely connected through our website. The map below shows most of the communities represented in ECIHEN.


View ECIHEN Families in a larger map

Q:

What are the age/grade ranges in your group?

A:

Naturally, ECIHEN is a family-orientated group. By being so, our membership includes infants to adults.

 

Q:

What type of activities does your group do? 

A:

ECIHEN members support each other by providing opportunities for home schooled students that they might not otherwise experience on their own. In addition to a monthly support meeting, members host events and field trips.

Previous events for families included guest speakers, holiday parties, talent shows, standardized testing, Christmas caroling, cooking classes, and art days.

Previous events for parents included guest speakers, curriculum sales, coffee times, and Mom's Night Out.

Previous field trips included places such as theaters, farms, beekeepers, courthouse & jail, Shelbyville Dam, greenhouses, several factories, and area businesses.

If your family has an interest, talent, or  connection, then we ask that you share that with the group by planning (or co-planning) an event, class, or field trip.  The list is always changing to become relevant to what you want because events are planned by members.

Q:

Where do you meet?

A:

Monthly support meetings take place at Broadway Christian Church in Mattoon. ECIHEN is not affiliated with BCC but appreciates the church's willingness to share their building with our group.

Because members plan activities and our members represent many communities, events are conducted all throughout East Central Illinois. Most activities at this time appear to be planned either in Mattoon, Charleston or Sullivan.

Q:

Do I have to attend every event?

A:

Families are free to attend as many or as few ECIHEN events as they prefer. Age-appropriateness, date & time, and location will all be factors you will need consider when deciding if a field trip or event is something you attend.

In fact, we have members who don't attend anything! They chose to join ECIHEN  just to use the online resources. With that being said, ECIHEN's mission is to support and encourage. If you need support and encouragement and are looking to build relationships, then you need to make the effort to attend events, especially the monthly meetings. 

Q:

Do you offer co-op classes?

A:

ECIHEN does not offer any cooperatives or classes because we are a support group not an educational group. Each Member can plan events such as a cooperative or class and invite others to participate.

At this time, the only co-op classes would be through the local Classical Conversations Community.  As a member, you could organize a class or bring up the discussion on our member forum to find like-minded families.

Q:

Can I belong to ECIHEN and still be a part of other home education groups?

A:

Yes, you can belong to ECIHEN and join other groups. We encourage you find support and have your educational needs met through any resources that work best for your family. You will find that many ECIHEN families belong to additional groups such as online yahoo groups, smaller homeschool groups within East Central Illinois, and educational groups such as co-ops and Classical Conversations.

Q:

I don't have any school-age children yet but am looking for like-minded people. Is ECIHEN a good fit for me?

A:

ECIHEN is a support group for parents who home educate their children. It is not a "Play Group" or  "Moms' Group." Often members plan social and educational events but they are for school-age children (Preschool - 12th grade) and will take place during the day.  Instead of ECIHEN, You may consider joining a Mom's Group or Play Group.  Local libraries and places like Douglas Hart Nature Center plan events specifically for Toddlers.

Q:

Does ECIHEN have a Facebook page?

A:

Yes, ECIHEN has a Closed Facebook Page. According to Facebook, a  Closed Page is "Closed: Anyone can see the group and who's in it. Only members see posts."  Adult members of ECIHEN in good standing will be granted access to the Facebook page. The page will mainly be used to share pictures from ECIHEN trips and events. All official ECIHEN correspondence will take place on the website and not on Facebook.

Q:

What if I don’t check my email or log-in the ECIHEN Website often?

A:

If you do not check your email or visit the website often, you may miss out! ECIHEN is foremost an online group, which uses only online communication via email and the website. (Information may be informally shared between members on the Facebook page.) Members hosting events and field trips will send reminders and announcements through email and as posts on the website forum.


ECIHEN automatically sends out one weekly email on Saturday night. This email will have a brief announcement or reminder at the top followed by whatever events are on the calendar for the week. Please note that some events require pre-registration and by the time you see it on the weekly email, the registration may be closed.

Q:

Why is  [email protected] almost always given rather than a person’s personal email address or phone number?

A:

We have to balance privacy with the opportunity for ministry.  One email address allows for transparency in interactions along with giving all leadership the ability to answer in case one person is unable to fulfill their responsibilities. As members of leadership change, the email address will remain constant, keeping clear path of communication open to current and future members.


Members are never allowed to give out phone numbers, addresses, or email addresses to non-members. If someone is inquiring about ECIHEN, please give him or her this email address and direct him or her to the website.


In general, only the Web Administrator reads all of the emails. She will forward them onto the appropriate member or posts the information on calendar or forum.

Q:

What about privacy and security on this website?

A:

Our website is hosted through Homeschool-Life.com (HSL) which is a service built by a homeschool dad for homeschoolers.  HSL provides two levels of viewing the ECIHEN website.  One is for the general public, and the other is  for ECIHEN members only. 

The General Public sees our limited Public Calendar, some FAQ’s, and some Links.

Your information will be seen only by ECIHEN administrators unless you choose to also make your information accessible to ECIHEN members by participating in the family directory and making your own family webpage.
 

Q:

Why is it taking so long for someone to answer my email or approve things I submitted to the website?

A:

Each member of this group is a homeschooling parent. We all understand the amount of duties being both parent and teacher requires. Those in leadership roles or hosting events are taking on additional responsibilities to those duties.  When things “pop up” as they inevitably do, ECIHEN duties will be temporarily set aside. As a support group, we each understand that  and remind each other that family comes first.

If you are awaiting an email, please check your spam folder. In addition, please give every member the benefit of the doubt: maybe they didn’t get your email or see your forum post. If it has been several days, please try sending it again. If you need prompt assistance, please send an email to [email protected] specifically stating what you need so another leadership member can assist you.
 

Q:

Who is able to attend a field trip or event?

A:

Any ECIHEN member family member can attend a field trip or an event. Being able to participate in these events is one of the major benefits to EICHEN membership. Unless you are planning the event or field trip, you may not bring a guest without first receiving permission from the event host. This not only keeps the events as a benefit for paying ECIHEN members but it also helps to protect member safety and privacy.  Families considering joining ECIHEN may wish to attend a few events first in order to get a feel for the group. These families must both contact [email protected] and get permission from the event of field trip host.